As the world of advertising continues to grow, diversify, and digitalize, two main problems continue to grow without control—ad blocking and ad fraud. During Advertising Week, an annual marketing and communications conference, these two subjects arose as the main topics of conversation and industry leaders chimed in on what they think it will take to break through these growing roadblocks.
With ad blocking programs launching on what seems like a daily basis, it is becoming increasingly difficult for advertisers to reach their target audience. Several speakers from Advertising Week believe a solution to that problem is creativity, whether it’s more creative traditional advertising methods or tapping into new forms of advertising, such as branded content or native advertising. Tom Peyton, Assistant VP-marketing at American Honda Motors, said it best when he said, “Just make an ad everybody wants to watch. Make great content.”
Better ads, however, aren’t going to magically fix the ad-blocking problem. Consumers have been trying to block ads since the remote control was invented, and advertisers don’t have the time to get into an engineering war with ad blockers, however, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is making strides on the technological front. IAB has created a code that will help small publishers find out when consumers are attempting to block their ads. According to IAB, this will help with the battle simply for the fact that the publishers will at least know when it’s happening.
Technology can be a friend and a foe, especially in the form of ad fraud. There’s a tremendous amount of positive results coming out of programmatic ad buying, however, it’s also been called a dark alley because its automation makes it hard for buyers and sellers to understand what’s happening in the marketplace. In order to truly combat ad fraud, the industry needs to aspire to be fully transparent. There are two types of transparency issues that need to be addressed: what the industry looks like in terms of participation and competition, and the more serious, transparency in viewability and fake traffic. The big challenge is that there are so many layers to the buying process and the fraudster’s schemes making it difficult to see the big picture. Luckily, digital advertising is trackable, so it’s only a matter of time until all the puzzle pieces are put together.
In order to combat the two plagues of digital advertising—ad blocking and ad fraud—a combination of creativity, transparency, and technology are needed.